The European Goldfinch is a widespread species in Europe, central Asia and northern Africa and was introduced to Australia in the 1860s. Originally restricted to urban areas, the European Goldfinch has successfully moved out into country areas of south-eastern Australia, including West Gippsland.
The European Goldfinch is found in settled areas, farmlands and weedy areas such as roadsides, railway lands and industrial wasteland. They are often seen in gardens and parks. Particularly associated with patches of Scotch Thistle.
In their home ranges of Europe, the Goldfinch is migratory. Here, the bird seems to be mostly sedentary or locally nomadic within its range.
In the UK, the Goldfinch is associated with loyalty and friendship, and is often seen as a symbol of love and devotion. In fact, the Goldfinch is a common motif in romantic literature, with poets such as William Wordsworth and John Keats writing about the bird in their works.
The Goldfinch is also a popular symbol in European folklore, with stories of the bird bringing good luck to those who spot it. In some countries, the Goldfinch is even considered a sign of good fortune, and it is often used as a motif for jewellery and other decorative items. The goldfinch is often depicted in Italian Renaissance paintings of the Madonna and Child.
|Credit: nga.gov Washington
There doesn’t appear to be any studies of the ecological impacts of the Goldfinch in Australia. Anecdotal observation would suggest they are less impactful than Mynahs, Starlings, Blackbirds and Spotted Doves.